Since the 1980s, Mystic Bowie has been keeping the art of music alive – entertaining audiences from New York to Japan with his vibrant music and high-energy performances. From humble beginnings in Jamaica, Mystic has become one of Reggae’s hardest working independent artists, compared to musical legends Jimmy Cliff, Lucky Dube and Toots and the Maytals.
Mystic’s career to date can only be described as an impressive musical journey. In 2009 alone, he averaged 217 performances, which included headliner appearances at the Tribal Funk Fest (BC, Canada), the New Haven Arts and Ideas Festival (CT, USA), SoNo Arts Festival and the MIMA Music Festival (Brazil).
Bowie has independently released four studio albums on his label, Funky Ska Music – his first, “Funky Reggae” (1992), which was followed by “Rebirth” (2002), and “Nevah Kiss & Tell” (2009), and most recently “Sweet Jamaica” (March 2012) distributed by VP Records. The song ’16 Dimples’ from “Rebirth” was well received while the title track from the album, “Nevah Kiss & Tell” was nominated for an award by the Okanagan International Film Fest in Canada.
In 2011 he was awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Music by Linkage Radio Music Awards. Mystic’s signature style has also been featured on several compilation albums including, “Sharin’ in the Groove: Celebrating the Music of Phish” (2000), “Creole Bred: Tribute to Creole & Zydeco” (2004), and “Occupy This Album: supporting the Occupy Wall Street Movement” (2012).
A testament to his drive to bridge the gap between genres, Mystic has enjoyed the fruits of countless collaborations far beyond his Reggae roots. Since 1992, he has toured as the front man vocalist with the legendary Tom Tom Club; his highly engaging performances have been captured on their “Live At The Clubhouse” CD (2002), “Time to Bounce” and “Tom Tom Club In a Bootleg Style” DVDs.
He has performed with a variety of funk and rock units including the B-52s, Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Widespread Panic. His work has also crossed over into film, having been featured on the Tom Tom Club’s remake of the Jimmy Cliff classic, ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ for the movie The Long Kiss Good Night and ‘Who’s Feelin It’ (from “The Good The Bad and the Funky”) featured on the soundtrack for the urban thriller American Psycho.
Talking Dreads is the brainchild of Head Dread, Mystic Bowie, a Jamaican artist whose long and close relationship with Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth,founding members of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, began when he joined the latter group as a singer in 1996. He then recorded and performed with Tom Tom Club for nearly twenty years and continues to bear fruit from their unending collaborations.
This inaugural effort from Talking Dreads features an amazing lineup of stellar reggae stalwarts including Freddie McGregor (‘Rastaman Camp’, Bobby Babylon), ska-guitar master Ernest Ranglin (session player and arranger of Millie’s smash ‘My Boy Lollipop’, the Melodians ‘Rivers Of Babylon’, and countless other tracks), and Tarrus Reilly (’Start Anew’, ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’) as well as a little help from punk-pop diva Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s (‘Rock Lobster’, ‘Love Shack’).
Talking Heads’ music was a formative influence on Mystic Bowie since childhood. The marriage of Talking Heads jagged, Rhode Island art school punk with bouncing, sunny Caribbean rhythms appealed to him because “reggae’s dance-inspiring, feel-good vibe is universal as are many of Talking Heads’ songs. And don’t forget their intelligent, powerful, interesting lyrics! I’m convinced that there are a lot of music lovers who will appreciate this fusion as much as I do”.
Mystic Bowie has been committed to sharing the art of music beyond the stage, establishing the Mystic Bowie Cultural Center in 1991. He was awarded two Certificates of Special Recognition from The Overseas Maroon Council and the Accompong Primary and Junior High School in Jamaica for his efforts.
In 2010, Mystic secured a non-exclusive endorsement deal with the internationally recognized brand – Red Stripe Beer. The brand acknowledged Mystic’s efforts to keep the art of music alive through positive music and community outreach. In 2012 he acquired a merchandise deal with VP Records/Riddim Driven Clothing that will be ready for his summer tour.